Why Does Bread Cause Bloating?

Bread is often a universally-loved staple, and an essential food group to many, but sometimes it can come at a cost. Many of us share the struggle of bloating after eating bread, which can be uncomfortable, frustrating, and sometimes even downright painful. In this article, we are going to break down what causes post-bread bloating, and how you can prevent this unwanted side effect. Because everyone deserves to enjoy bread, and feel great afterwards (which is why we craft our unique line of buckwheat breads that are all gluten-free, allergen-free, and help to prevent bloating!)



Primary Causes For Post-Bread Bloating


High Carbohydrate Content

Bread is typically high in carbohydrates, and when consumed in large quantities or rapidly, it can lead to bloating. Long story short, carbohydrates can attract water in the digestive system, leading to a feeling of fullness and bloating. This is especially the case for what are considered “low-quality carbohydrates”, or processed carbohydrates— refined grains, sugar alcohols, etc— which are standard ingredients for various types of breads on the market.

Since processed carbohydrates are broken down quicker than complex carbohydrates (quinoa, brown rice, etc) for rapid energy release, the body is forced to store more water in the digestive system in order to relinquish the energy from the processed carbohydrates. Basically, more water retention in the digestive process equals more bloating, and processed carbohydrates in bread are the leading aggravator for this.

More on this later, but if you’re looking to reduce bloating,  we recommend looking for bread options that are free from processed carbohydrates and other unhealthy additives. These unnecessary ingredients do more harm than good when it comes to digestibility and the overall nutritional value of bread; after noticing the lack of healthy bread options on the market, we set out to make bread even more simple and delicious with our buckwheat loaves. Free from any preservatives, processed carbohydrates, and everything else on this list of triggers for bloating, our breads will make your tummy and taste buds very happy!




Another key cause of bloating after bread can be attributed to FODMAPs, which are fermentable carbohydrates (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols). Often, FODMAPs are heavily present in bread varieties such as rye and white bread. FODMAPs can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine and fermented by bacteria in the large intestine, leading to gas production and bloating in individuals who are sensitive to FODMAPs.


Processed Ingredients

Breads containing processed ingredients, chemicals, gums, and other additives are likely to cause bloating for a few reasons. Processed ingredients often have high amounts of sodium, causing your body to retain water and bloat. In addition, sugary additives found in certain breads break down erratically in the process of digestion, causing gas and discomfort.



Gluten Sensitivity

Bread that contains gluten, such as wheat bread, can cause bloating in individuals who have gluten sensitivities, or celiac disease. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and some people may experience digestive symptoms, including bloating, when they consume gluten-containing foods.


Yeast Intolerance

Baker’s yeast is commonly used in the fermentation process of bread, and some individuals may be sensitive or intolerant to yeast. Consuming bread with yeast can trigger bloating or other digestive discomfort in such cases, and may point to what is called a Candida overgrowth in your gut.



Overeating Or Eating Too Quickly

Eating a large amount of bread or consuming it rapidly can cause bloating. When you eat quickly or overeat, you may swallow more air, which can contribute to bloating and discomfort.

It's important to remember that not everyone experiences bloating from bread, and individual sensitivities can vary. If you frequently experience bloating after consuming bread, it may be helpful to observe your symptoms, keep a food diary, or consider consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance and help identify the underlying cause of your bloating.


Solutions for Post-Bread Bloating


Choose The Right Bread

The most straightforward solution for post-bread bloating? Choosing bread that is essentially free from most or all of the bloat-causing factors we discussed above. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to decipher food labels and analyze the sea of bread options out there; so ultimately, here’s the easiest way to eliminate options and find the best bread for your gut. To prevent bloating and other stomach irritation symptoms, we recommend avoiding breads that contain any of the following:

  • Gums (xanthan, guar, etc)
  • Processed carbohydrates (processed sugars, simple sugars, high fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohols, refined grains and flours)
  • High FODMAP ingredients (amaranth flour, agave, apple juice concentrate, barley flour, chicory root extract, fructans, honey, inulin, molasses, pear juice concentrate, rye flour, etc)
  • Unrecognizable ingredients/chemicals (which is always a good rule of thumb to follow)

In special cases, yeast may be a good idea to avoid as well if you notice severe reactions or bloating from this alone— however, it is important to note that not everyone experiences bloating because of yeast.

You may be thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot of ingredients to avoid— how will I ever find a bread that doesn’t cause bloating?” Well, we’ve got some amazing news for you! Our entire line of sprouted buckwheat breads checks all the boxes and contains literally just 2-5 ingredients per flavor; all of which are gut-friendly, gluten-free, vegan, and organic. Since we soak and sprout our buckwheat, our breads are super easy on your digestive system, reducing bloating and other side effects commonly associated with traditional breads. 

We may be biased, but PACHA is the optimal choice if you’re looking for a bread that will eliminate or reduce bloating. After all, our tagline is “Bread Without the Bloat”! We stick by our word, and know that your body will feel great after eating our bread because of our simple, wholesome ingredients. Browse our line of scrumptious and bloat-free breads here.



Consume Slowly

Besides choosing the right bread for your body, we recommend eating slowly and steadily to avoid bloating. When you eat slowly, you give your body more time to break down the food you consume. The process of digestion starts in the mouth, where enzymes in saliva begin breaking down carbohydrates. By chewing bread slowly and thoroughly, you initiate this process more effectively, making it easier for your body to digest the bread later on.

Because eating quickly often leads to swallowing excess air, this can contribute to bloating and gas. By taking your time and chewing bread slowly, you minimize the amount of air you swallow, reducing the likelihood of bloating.

Finally, eating slowly allows your brain to receive signals of fullness from your stomach more accurately. By savoring each bite of bread, you become more mindful of your eating and are more likely to stop when you're satisfied, rather than overeating. Overeating can cause discomfort and bloating as your digestive system works to process excessive amounts of food.


Be Realistic

It's important to note that bloating can have various causes, and while following the guidelines we’ve discussed may help prevent bloating for some people, it might not be effective for everyone. If you experience persistent, severe, or painful bloating, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and guidance.

Also, to a certain extent, partial bloating is very common after consuming many different kinds of food. Sometimes, it can merely be triggered by drinking lots of water, consuming high amounts of fibrous foods, and more. As you can see, sometimes even healthy habits can lead to bloating, making it very normal and not usually a source for worry. The best advice we can give: listen to your body and intuition always, and eat what makes you feel good!


In Closing…

Each person's digestive system is unique, and some people may be more sensitive to certain components of bread than others, so therefore some people may experience side effects like bloating more than others will. We recommend being mindful of the ingredients in the bread you are consuming, eating slowly, and maintaining a realistic mindset when it comes to preventing post-bread bloating. If you consistently experience severe bloating after consuming bread or other specific foods, it may be helpful to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and guidance.